Go to navigation Go to content

Deadly Meningitis Outbreak May or May Not Be Pharmacy Malpractice

Following the rare fungal meningitis outbreak that recently occurred in the United States, there have been 25 reported deaths and over 300 injuries, and the numbers continue to rise. The New England Compounding Center, the drug-mixing pharmacy at the center of this legal matter, already faces lawsuits. But now victims also are starting to file suits against the physicians and clinics which administered contaminated steroid shots from this compounding pharmacy.

The lawsuits against the doctors and clinics involved may or may not be successful. It depends on whether the judges involved believe the cases are subject to product liability or malpractice.  

Contributing Factors that Would Classify Theses Suits as Pharmacy Malpractice

The courts may or may not define the contaminated injections as sold products. If the courts do define them as products that were sold, then the doctors and clinics involved could be sued for product liability. If a patient’s medical bill shows a line item for the steroid injection, it could be argued that the product was sold.

However, if the judges in these trials define the tainted injections as a service, then the plaintiffs would have to prove negligence under medical malpractice laws. While it may be difficult to show negligence on the part of a doctor or hospital, experienced pharmacy error lawyers will ask hard questions, such as: Did the doctor or clinic involved investigate the safety of these steroid shots?

Some victims may sue for both product liability and malpractice depending on their state laws. Because lawsuits will be filed in many different states, the outcomes could vary for the victims and the victims’ families. This is why it is critical for victims to talk with experienced lawyers who know the state laws, how to file the case, and what types of compensation – compensatory and punitive damages – victims could sue for.

To find out if you can sue for pharmacy malpractice or to find out more about your rights, call Kennedy Hodges L.L.P. for a complimentary case consultation with a qualified drug error lawyer at 888-526-7616. Make sure you also request a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.